Ready for college? Count till 10! - Sabira Fernandes

Ready for college? Count till 10! - Sabira Fernandes

College is that big step into the world of independence; the beginning of the making of your career.  The cloistered, sheltered world of school is done with, and many await the genesis of a new life. Most know what they want as their careers, while some get there ultimately. 

Starting college brings mixed feelings and reactions in everyone. It is okay to be a bit apprehensive and freak out just a little bit. You will, in the process, learn and unlearn, make new friends, and understand who your real friends are. It is also okay to leave friends behind and form new friendships. It is a major change, but one that is a welcome progression forward, in the journey called  life. 
So, while preparing for college, most think of clothes and shoes, because the bindings of a uniform do not apply anymore. Yes, while that does make a difference, it does not mean you have to splurge on designer threads. You have to be comfortable; there will be hours of standing, and running around, and completing projects, so learn to be comfortable in what you are wearing. 
Right. What else do you need to keep in mind as you get into college? Here are 10 tips for ready reference. 
1. Confidence. That little devil or angel on your shoulder telling you to ‘chest out’ and be a go-getter! Knowing yourself is, in itself, a good measure of confidence. Sometimes, confidence comes with just proper posture. Pull up your spine; go, do it… don’t you feel already larger, broader, taller? 
2. Wear a smile. It is best way to make friends. Greet people with a smile, say “hello”, introduce yourself; prepare an elevator pitch for yourself – a small introduction to describe yourself, where you are from, what you love, which course you have taken, maybe a small tid-bit of the place you come from. 
3. Listen. Keep your ears open. There are new sounds everywhere, the rains, the birds, traffic, some different accents. Listen to people, places, footsteps, most of all, listen when people speak. Don’t merely listen to, respond; listen to what the person facing you is saying, and lead on from there. Look into their eyes. You will come across as sincere and lovable.
4. Embrace change. Be ready to meet new people, be ready for new experiences, new friends, cultures, foods. Accept the diversities, don’t be shy or reserved. Watch and learn. Celebrate the differences, enjoy the newness. 
5. Make friends. This is the simple most important aspect in college life. It might be a little of an effort in the beginning, but as you get involved in various activities, your circle will expand, beautifully. 
6. Get involved in college activities. Volunteering is the best way to show leadership qualities. Develop team spirit, showcase your talents, and be in the eye of the professors, mentors, seniors and other students. It will help you unleash your creativity and hidden talents.
7. Time management. Can’t stress this enough. Begin by waking up on time, and getting adequate sleep. Invest in a regular alarm clock; don’t always rely on the smart phone. Visualise the day, and how you can fit in various activities in the time schedule. Do a daily scan of activities lined up, and a plan for projects and other home work. Learn how to fit in project time-lines into your schedule. And learn how to delegate and work in teams
8. Be motivated. Prepare yourself in an organised manner-- that will help you to stay motivated. You chose to study for your career, keep at it. Motivation will get you assistance when needed. Read and research. Ask questions. Talk to peers, seniors, teachers. 
9. And of course have fun. Enjoy your time. Learn to live life. Explore the surroundings, if you are in a new city, learn the language of the place, eat the local food. Prepare for upset tummies, but that will pass, it is a good memory. 
10. Lastly, study. Don’t forget to study every day. Don’t wait to cram all for the night before the exam, or the presentations/jury. Plan your study, read about your subject, and around your subject. Ask questions--you will not only sound smart, but it will give you the boost you need. 
And after all, these are memories that will last you a life-time. Stop worrying. Don’t create negative scenarios in your head. Be positive. College is your time. College is your age. Live it!
Sabira Fernandes A Branding and Communications Consultant, Sabira holds a Masters Degree in History, and a Diploma in Marketing Management. A veteran web content writer, she relaxes by reading, and pumps up her adrenaline by running the Mumbai 21 kms half-marathon every year. 


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